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Public Forum: THOUGHT IS FREE
THOUGHT IS FREE:
An Evening of Protest and Solidarity
A Public Forum Event
In association with PEN American Center
Hosted by Liev Schreiber
Work of Imperiled Writers and Artists Read by Carl Bernstein, Shirin Neshat, and Laurie Anderson
Salman Rushdie joins Nathan Englander for a discussion on the responsibilities of artists
Monday December 3 at 8pm
In THOUGHT IS FREE, high-profile champions of free expression will read the work of writers and artists imprisoned for speaking truth to power. Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein will read a story by Eskinder Nega, the Ethiopian reporter whose arrest on anti-terrorism charges has been protested by PEN, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the U.S. State Department.
The globally renowned Iranian-born artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat will read a statement by Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist who has been barred from leaving the country because of his criticism of the government.
Laurie Anderson will read a text from the Pussy Riot trial, which sent three members of the Russian punk band to prison. Two of them remain in jail.
The evening will conclude with Salman Rushdie joining Nathan Englander onstage for a conversation about The Twenty-Seventh Man, Rushdie’s new memoir, and the responsibilities of the artist. Rushdie is the founder and chair of the PEN World Voices Festival and Englander is a member of the PEN American Center Board of Trustees.
PUBLIC FORUM presents the theater of ideas. Curated by Jeremy McCarter, this series of lectures, conversations, and performances features leading voices in politics, media, and the arts. Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, Cynthia Nixon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Sam Waterston, and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman have hosted its programs, which have featured the insights of Kurt Andersen, Carl Bernstein, David Brooks, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Nathan Englander, Hendrik Hertzberg, Arianna Huffington, Bill Irwin, Tony Kushner, Jay McInerney, Suzan-Lori Parks, Francine Prose, Reihan Salam, David Simon, Anna Deveare Smith, Ben Smith, Stephen Sondheim, Emma Straub, Sam Tanenhaus, Marc Tracy, Damian Woetzel, the culture writers of New York Magazine, and young veterans of the war in Afghanistan - plus performances by Anne Hathaway, Michael Friedman, Gabriel Kahane, and Michael Cerveris, among others.